Apr 24, 2024 | Artist of the Month | 0 comments

Artist Of The Month – Thomas Zuber

Artist of the Month | 0 comments

Deb Ammerman - Small Business Showcase Magazine

Eleni Owens

Thomas Zuber
Navigating the Abstract Waters of Art and Identity

When you think of thriving art communities, big cities like New York or San Francisco might come to mind. But nestled in the smaller, unassuming town of Goshen, Indiana, there’s a bustling hub of creativity that’s home to artists who could easily grace the galleries of any metropolis. It’s here, in this unexpected sanctuary for the arts, that we find Thomas Zuber, a local abstract artist charting his own distinct course.

Thomas’s origin story goes back to his childhood. “I was always happiest making stuff,” he recalls. Even before kindergarten, I could be found sitting in a corner by myself, making things while my older brothers ran around.”  This passion for creation carried on through his school years where he found happiness drawing anything and everything.  As is often the case with aspiring artists, his parents weren’t quite sold on the idea of him majoring in art because, according to them, “artists don’t make a living.”  However, “I always knew that this was what I was put on this earth to do,” he admits.  Thankfully, Thomas followed his heart and graduated from IUSB with a degree in fine arts and a concentration in sculpture.  His career took many twists and turns, from woodworking to teaching art before he found himself questioning who he was and why he was here.  “I had done all the right things, but none of them fed my soul” he realized.  “My happiest moments were when I was making art.” This epiphany brought him back to his roots, allowing him to fully embrace his true creative spirit.

Letting Go to Create

I asked Thomas to tell me about his artistic process, and he highlighted the Zen-like state he enters during creation. “I try to turn my brain off” Thomas explains. This allows his intuition to lead the way. He starts with charcoal on canvas, allowing shapes and lines to emerge naturally. He’s inspired by the Yin and Yang that mixing organic and geometric shapes creates.

This initial chaos serves as the foundation for a process of layering and glazing with acrylics. This technique gives his pieces depth and luminosity which is often mistaken for oil painting. “With a palette and knives…that original composition becomes something else, something that I can’t plan for,” Thomas shares, emphasizing the spontaneous yet controlled nature of his work.

While predominately abstract Thomas’ art often weaves in recurring themes. He’s created a series titled “Harbors and Havens” that carries a maritime thread throughout each piece. “The colors and shapes create an effect that looks like shipyards and masts” Thomas notes, underscoring his intentional openness to interpretation. He finds joy in hearing how viewers perceive his work. One group of grad school students told him that his pieces reminded them of “an architectural treatise that Picasso had written”, and another group saw “the language of math” in his art. Thomas’ strategic use of design elements and composition allows each viewer to bring their lived experiences to the artwork, creating a unique and personal connection.

Figures and Reflections

Thomas’s artistic exploration extends beyond abstract landscapes into the realm of figures, where the spiritual nature of his work comes to the forefront. Inspired by Cubism and the legendary works of Picasso, Thomas ventures into the complexity of human emotion and spirituality through his art. “I’ve always been fascinated by how Picasso could capture the essence of a subject from multiple perspectives,” Thomas reflects. “In my own work, I strive to blend those cubist inspirations with my personal experiences, creating pieces that speak to the spiritual journey of the individual.”

His series titled “Movements and Meditations” is particularly evocative, capturing abstracted faces and forms that seem to exist in a state of serene contemplation. “These pieces are meditations on the human condition, explorations of inner peace,” Thomas explains. He describes how these works often incorporate elements that suggest a “communion of saints,” drawing on his deep interest in the spiritual

and mystical aspects of life. “It’s about capturing moments of tranquility and reflection, allowing the viewer to connect on a deeper level.”

Building Connections

Thomas Zuber’s commitment to art is woven into the fabric of the Goshen community. Through a variety of avenues, 

Thomas ensures his work and the essence of creativity are accessible to all. From showcasing his pieces in local cafes like Cafe Navarre and Canal Café to participating in community events 

such as Goshen’s First Fridays, Thomas actively contributes to the local art scene. Showing his art in the community allows him to connect with people who might not visit galleries regularly and enriches the local cultural landscape.

His involvement in educational initiatives, particularly in teaching digital arts, further demonstrates his dedication to fostering creativity in others. He inspires others to explore their creative paths by sharing his process and the inspirations behind his work on social media. He often posts engaging behind-the-scenes looks at his process in an effort to demystify the artistic process and make art relatable.

Words of Wisdom

In a world where the path of an artist is often romanticized, Thomas Zuber offers grounded, practical advice for those looking to carve their niche in the art world. Art, according to Thomas, isn’t about waiting for inspiration to strike; it’s about the discipline to create, even when the muse is silent. “You don’t sit around and wait to be inspired. You have to push yourself to keep creating and be okay with making mistakes.”

Thomas speaks candidly about the evolution of an artist’s voice and style, emphasizing perseverance and hard work. “Keep pushing, and your voice will continue to come out,” he encourages. This philosophy extends beyond the canvas, touching on the reality of making a living as an artist in today’s world. With the advent of digital platforms, artists have unprecedented opportunities to showcase their work and connect with audiences globally. Thomas’s own journey reflects this shift, as he actively engages with his community both online and in person. Moreover, Thomas underscores the significance of being proactive in learning and adapting to the digital age. “You have to learn how to build a website and market yourself… You have to put yourself out there in the right way.”

Yet, Thomas’s most profound advice may lie in his perspective on the intrinsic value of art. “There’s a misconception that artists don’t make money,” he notes, challenging the stereotype that pursuing art is a path to financial instability. He encourages young creatives to look beyond traditional art careers, pointing out the myriad ways artists contribute to and thrive in various industries, from film to digital media. “Embrace your creativity,” Thomas urges aspiring artists. “Put your time in, and you will start seeing benefits.” This blend of practicality and passion defines Thomas’s outlook on art and life, offering a beacon of guidance for those navigating the complex waters of a career in the arts.

Connect and Discover

Thomas Zuber’s journey through the abstract waters of art and identity opens the door for others to explore their creativity. For those who have been inspired by his story, his wisdom, and his art, there are several ways to support and connect with him.

Discover more about Thomas and his artwork by visiting his website at tzuberart.com, where you can dive deeper into his collections and learn more about the concepts behind his creations. While you’re there, sign up for his newsletter to gain insider access to upcoming projects. For daily insights into his creative process and the life of an artist in Goshen, follow him on Facebook at Thomas Zuber Fine Art and Instagram @thomas_zuber_fine_art.

Engaging with Thomas’s work online, attending his exhibitions, or even starting a conversation on social media are great ways to support his art. Each interaction not only enriches your understanding of abstract art but also contributes to the vibrant community Thomas fosters through his work. So, whether you’re an art enthusiast, a fellow artist, or someone curious about the creative process, Thomas welcomes you to join his journey of exploration and expression.

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